The New People’s Army (NPA) collects up to P300 million annually through extortion from telecommunication companies in the country, a self-confessed former rebel claimed on Tuesday.
“If there is one single (group that has) mafia-style single extortion machinery, it is the CPP NPA NDF (Communist Party of the Philippines-New People’s Army-National Democratic Front). They cannot overthrow the government but they can make Smart and Globe pay PHP200 to PHP300 million,” said Jeffrey “Ka Eric” Celiz, who claims to be an NPA cadre for 27 years.
Celiz, during Tuesday’s Senate hearing on red-tagging, said aside from telcos, he added that the NPA can also make “triple A” contractors building airports pay protection money.
The payments, he said, were made through bank remittance transacted outside the Philippines.
He added that 40 percent of the protection money goes to CPP central committee while 60 percent goes to regional operations.
Celiz added that the extortion activities “are able to circumvent the Anti-Money Laundering Council” since these funds are coursed through an established network of conduit non-government organizations coming from Belgium and the Netherlands in Europe.
In the same hearing, Senate President Vicente Sotto said the extortion activities by the communist groups could be the reason why telco firms prefer to put up cell sites in military installations.
Senator Panfilo Lacson said the extortion activities are an open secret in the country, with local communist terror groups collecting 2 percent of a contract cost. (PNA)